KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic -- Lucia Carreras, who co-wrote the Camera d'Or winner Leap Year by Michael Rowe, didn’t aim with Nos Vemos Papa (Goodbye, Dad) to shock audiences with an incest drama.
But her debut directorial feature, which is screening in the official competition, has sent a frisson through the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival as it hints at incest between a father and daughter.
The erotic scenes in the intimate drama were only imagined by Pilar, the daughter played by Emmy-nominated Mexican actress Cecilia Suarez, Carreras told a press conference here Tuesday.
“It was my aim to show that what she is living though her father is in her imagination,” the director insisted, while admitting the magical realism of her film lends ambiguity. “I didn’t want to explain too much about this erotic dimension as I want the audience to construct the story themselves. If they feel that there’s something that’s not fictional, that’s not my intention."
Nos Vemos Papa is having its international premiere in Karlovy Vary after debuting at the Morelia International Film Festival, a top-tier Mexican fest.
“[Mexican audiences] managed to understand the emotional part of the film,” Carreras told the assembled European media. "That was the most important thing for me, that they understand the main character, that she is deciding how to live her life, without being judged."
In the film, Pilar reacts to her father’s death with near-pathological dependence still on him, with the audience held in suspense as to her next move.
“The truth is, I didn’t want to write a film on psychological problems. I wanted a film that works on feelings, on motivations of the character,” the director said.
The Mexican film also stars Marcelo D’Andrea, Arturo Barba, Gabriela de la Garza and Veronica Langer and was produced by Edher Campos and Luis Salinas of Machete Producciones.
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival continues through July 7.